National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Joseph Lengyel cautioned against a federal National Guard activation as the Trump administration considers the move to continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not at this time! They will have to if things get worse!

National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Joseph Lengyel cautioned against a federal National Guard activation as the Trump administration considers the move to continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think you can get everything you need from the National Guard more efficiently and more effectively if you leave them in a state status,” the Air Force general said at a news conference Thursday, according to Air Force Magazine.

As of Saturday morning, governors across 28 states had mobilized components of the Army and Air National Guard, according to the Military Times.

However, Lengyel said it “would not make sense in this situation” for President Donald Trump to call for federal activation of the National Guard.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has not committed to federal activation at this time.

“As we get requests in, we will look at activating, if we need to, at the federal level or using the reserves, whatever the case may be,” Esper said at a news conference Tuesday, the Military Times reported.

“We want to be very supportive with regard to our prioritization in terms of supporting the American people and the governors.”

Federal National Guard activation, known as Title 10, would place guardsmen under the president’s control rather than the state governor’s, Politico reported.

This would mean the guardsmen could be deployed to another state and that deployment would be funded by the federal government, which would “cost billions and billions and billions of dollars,” according to Lengyel.

The National Guard was activated to Title 10 status when guardsmen were used to support military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, The Atlantic reported.

They were also federally activated in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Lengyel said that in the current situation, “a lot of people won’t have things to do” under Title 10 status.

“There is no need right now to have 450,000 guardsmen on duty in any given state,” he said, according to Air Force Magazine.

“As states need the National Guard to react to this kind of pandemic, governors have the authority to bring them on active duty, as there are tasks and purpose for them to be used.”

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Lengyel emphasized that the control of the National Guard should remain at the state level at this time.

“The best use of the National Guard is to use the National Guard for the unique authorities that it has, and that is to remain under the command and control of the networks in the states,” he said.

As of Thursday, every state and territory in the United States had declared a state of emergency, and there were 2,050 National Guard troops on state activation to help combat COVID-19.

“Thus far, six members of the National Guard have tested positive for COVID-19,” Lengyel added. “We have force health-protection measures in place, and will continue to keep our NG members informed as the situation develops.”

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According to the Posse Comitatus Act, President Trump certainly has the authority to Federalize the National Guard of each state.  However, there are Constitutional limits to the role and duties they can be assigned to do.  However, I do believe that members of each state's National Guard Units are also members of the communities in which they serve, as such it seems to me that they should be kept under local command, not under Federal Command.  By all means and for all intents and purposes this would be a judgement call by President Trump and once the Federalization is ordered, states need to know, there is no opt out clause.  I do not believe President Trump would take this action unless it's absolutely necessary. 


I agree with you, Jerome! He would only Federalize if necessary!

It sounds as if the president is mulling over different strategy's if the covid-19 virus becomes more of a problem than it is at present. I have to question why Chief Gen. Joseph Lengyel thought it necessary to reveal Trump's possible actions where the guard is concerned in a news conference? 

For the time being, the guard should stay in their local states. Hopefully, there will be no future need to federalize them.  

This Corona virus is a big thing, and even National Guard Generals like to get their 15 minutes of fame.  For a National Guard General, a little PR never hurts when you can get it.

Trump authorizes Pentagon to call up to 1 million reserve troops to active duty for coronavirus fight

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday, authorizing the secretaries of defense and homeland security to activate up to 1 million military and coast guard reserve members to assist in the fight against coronavirus.

The language of the executive order states the secretaries may call up members of the military Ready Reserve for up to 24 months, in numbers not to exceed 1 million people at any one time. The order could pull from experienced veterans, including retirees.

The Secretary of Defense may instruct the individual secretaries of the Army, Air Force and Navy to call on their reserve forces. The Secretary of Homeland Security may call upon members of the Coast Guard reserve not operating under the direction of the U.S. Navy.

“I also signed an executive order giving the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security the authority to activate the Ready Reserve components of the armed forces,” Trump said Friday, during a coronavirus press briefing. “This will allow us to mobilize medical disaster and emergency response personnel to help wage our battle against the virus by activating thousands of experienced service members, including retirees.”

Trump continued, “We have a lot of people — retirees; great, great military people — they’re coming back in — who have offered to support the nation in this extraordinary time of need. And they come back in. They don’t say, ‘How much?’ They don’t say, ‘What are we getting paid?’ They just want to come back in. It’s really an incredible thing to see. It’s beautiful.”

This week, the U.S. Army issued a message through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service — which processes pay for military retirees — asking soldiers with medical training through the military if they would be willing to return to assist in the effort to combat coronavirus. The request came with the caveat that those currently involved in civilian medical efforts disclose their work at hospitals and medical centers, as the Army does not want to pull medical workers already assisting in the public health effort against coronavirus.

It was not clear from the request through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service if those soldiers were being asked to rejoin to active service or if they would serve in a limited capacity without the same commitments.

Military personnel, such as members of New York’s National Guard, have already been called upon to assist in the coronavirus effort and this week began constructing a makeshift hospital at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.





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